Hello, lovely people! Thank you to Fangtastic Books for having me here. Today I’d like to share with you my top ten book couples, starting with my absolute favourites…
1. Merit & Ethan – Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill
What more can you want than a thoroughly sexy master vampire and a slightly nerdy but totally kick-ass heroine? Merit is brave, strong, witty, and the perfect adversary/partner for Ethan. She keeps him on his toes and, in my opinion, gives him a little bit of life back. I truly love these two. If I could do such a thing, I would be Merit.
2. Qhuinn & Blaylock – Lover at Last, Black Dagger Brotherhood by J. R. Ward
The relationship between Qhuinn and Blay is truly beautiful, one of loyalty and overcoming prejudices, including those of Qhuinn himself. This is the only male-male relationship on this list, but it truly deserves to be near the top. Blay has such a good heart and Qhuinn has so much to overcome, their romance kept me captivated.
3. Zadist & Bella – Lover Awakened, Black Dagger Brotherhood by J. R. Ward
I’m a big fan of tragedy, and of love overcoming it. There are few characters as tormented as Zadist and seeing him find a degree of peace with Bella was enthralling.
4. Jehenne & Corvus – The French Vampire Legen (Series) by Emma Leech
Anyone familiar with what I write, especially the Vampire Cohorts series, will see why I love this couple. There’s magic, passionate (if occasionally inexplicable) attraction, and there’s tragedy and devotion. Their tale is simply beautiful. It’s timeless. Although Jehenne took a little learning to love, Corvus… Well, Corvus is a keeper.
5. Imrhein & Thorn – The Bitterbynde Trilogy by Cecilia Dart-Thornton
If it’s not clear that I like tragic love affairs by now, it soon will be. These two are another couple who have it tough. Imrhein has a rough time of it, but Thorn… well, phoar. Ranger, king, fae king… he’s enchanting and captivating and the forbidden love quality to his relationship with Imrhein is beautiful.
6. Arwen & Aragorn – The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
You can’t really get much more tragic than Arwen and Aragorn. She gave up her family to stay with him. She chose to live with the grief she had to bear because she was one of the last of her kind, and because she was destined to longer than him. Their story is both beautiful and sorrowful.
7. Catherine & Bones – The Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost
There’s a great many times when Cat Crawfield gets on my nerves, I admit it. But Bones… well, he’s a sexy bounty hunter vampire who reminds me of Spike from Buffy. That pretty much sells him to me. He’s an education for Cat, in more ways than one. He teaches her how to see past prejudices she’s acquired while being anything but your typical hero. I just love the Cat-Bones romance, especially in the early books of the series.
8. Lothaire & Elizabeth – Lothaire by Kresley Cole
This is another one where prejudices are overcome, where the couple learn from each other. On top of that, Lothaire is a real bad boy. At times he seems to verge on evil, and certainly demented. Yet that doesn’t matter, because deep down inside there’s a surprisingly good man… despite his murderous streak.
9. Caitlin & Kane – Blood Shadows, Blackthorn Series by Lindsay Pryor
These two are both trying to get one up on each other at the start of the book. They’re adversaries who became something more. Kane has all the dominating threat that a vampire should have while also having a good heart. I love how this adversarial couple come to see so much more in each other.
10. Eilonwy & Taran – The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
This is an odd one, as they’re from a children’s series. However, they’re a couple that’s stuck with me. The Prydain series as a whole stuck with me, but Eilonwy and Taran go through so much together, they come of age together, and that gives their relationship a unique quality.
Bite the Bullet
Angela Louise McGurk
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Angela Louise McGurk
Date of Publication: 12 December 2015
Number of pages: 324
Word Count: 116,000
Cover Artist: Angela Louise McGurk
Let me tell you what it was to be made vampire. It wasn’t birth. Birth implies pushing, tearing forth into the light, screaming. Becoming immortal was to be pulled, to be tugged irrevocably into darkness, and it was silent.
I should have fought, any person should fight, but my mind had been filled with a hazy calm which forbade any battle. Struggling had been the last thing on my mind, even when my bus arrived and my assailant waved it on, dismissing my last hope of escape.
Yet my lack of rebellion was far from the most unsettling part of the stranger’s control over me. The truth was that the man could’ve asked anything of me and I would’ve complied, but he didn’t need to vocalise his request. I knew instinctively what he wanted. I sighed and surrendered myself as he held me against his front in a lover’s embrace, tipping my head and willingly giving him access to my throat.
“One day you’ll understand,” he whispered, his tone subdued. I’ve often wondered since if he was really talking to me. Perhaps he’d been talking to himself, persuading himself that one day I’d know and accept his reasons for what he’d planned for me.
I wouldn’t. I couldn’t. Because when my fangs came in, my world altered irrevocably. It became somewhere dark, somewhere filled with murder and blood, where magic was sinister and where even my closest ally seemed more like an enemy... Even if he did make my heart skip a beat.
Two uniformed vampire sentries stood outside the door. They nodded to Lex and James as we approached. They also eyed me with unveiled curiosity before opening the timber access and their scrutiny made me uncomfortable.
Here we go, here was the interest that would make me feel like a specimen in a petri dish, or some newly discovered species which had previously been thought extinct.
I tried to ignore my unease, but realistically what hope did I have? Nerves caused my stomach to churn and nausea to raise its ugly head as James herded me into the building and across an entrance hall. I could hear the laughter of many people coming from a room to the left of the hallway. More people than I wanted to face, judging by the noise. Not that my reluctance mattered as it was in that direction which James propelled me.
I wasn’t given a chance to catch my breath, to prepare myself for my introduction to the cohort. I was simply thrust among them, and I swore I’d never forgive James for that act of cruelty. Silence fell the moment I entered the oppressive atmosphere of the grand dining room, with its walls panelled in dark wood and a vast number of vampires congregated inside.
They turned towards me, stared at me with increasing scorn as their expectations plummeted. They arched brows at my tattered clothing and messed up hair, and at the blood which I’d sloshed down my front during my mad dive for the bottle which James had opened. This was not going to make the sort of impression I needed, not if I wanted to make friends.
Did I want friends?
My first instinct was to run, but with Lex and James flanking me there was no way out, nowhere to escape to. I was trapped, and I was being looked at as though I were some unwelcomed insect which had crawled in from the street. That should’ve irritated me but such concerns faded away to nothing when my eyes finally met his, my Sire’s.
Conn O’Dowd was as recognisable as I’d predicted, even though I hadn’t seen his face at the bus stop. His deep blue eyes caught mine and our gazes locked, held. His burned with something I couldn’t fathom, something so intense it felt familiar even though I couldn’t explain why. He was tall, broad, and even the bulk of him seemed familiar, although I’d only ever felt the press of his body against my back that once, as he drank from me. His long hair was a mix of dirty blond and brilliant golden waves, which were tied back into a ponytail at the nape of his neck. He was stunning, Adonis like… Or Thor like. And I hated him all the more for his perfection.
He stared at me a moment longer, as if assessing my worth, as if assessing whether I deserved a place in his household. Then his expression changed. Conn looked at me as though I was one of those silly mortals who’d flocked to apply for the change, rather than as someone who had been given no choice.
He’d turned me, hadn’t he? Wasn’t it a bit late to wonder whether or not he wanted me here?
Disappointment flickered in the depth of those impossibly dark blue eyes. Then he turned away. Just like that, his attention moved on from me, refocusing on the redhead at his side. The woman laughed as he leaned over, whispering in her ear, and something welled up inside me; something dangerous and reckless.
Anger pounded through my veins until I could hear my pulse in my head. How dare he? How dare he take away my life and then turn away from me without so much as a word, especially to cavort with some woman who’d probably begged him to change her. I hated them both as they stood at the front of the room, whispering to each other.
He thought he could change me then ignore me?
He thought he could rip my life away and expect me to silently take whichever position he deemed I should fill?
To hell with that.
My anger peaked and overflowed, and when it did it triggered the strange link that bound me to my maker, just as drinking his blood had done. It dragged me forward, and I stepped away from James and Lex before either could think to stop me. I was pulled down the length of the hall by incorporeal ropes and when Conn noticed my approach he seemed surprised, uncertain.
There was so much I wanted to say to him. I wanted to ask him why he’d turned me, why he’d broken the law, and why he was lying about my consent. I wanted to rant at him, to vent my fury in a tirade of accusations and hate. Yet words wouldn’t come, they were trapped in my chest by the ball of fear and fury which painfully blocked my throat.
I acted in spite of my inability to form words, and my hand flew out of its own volition.
The blazing red handprint I left on Conn’s cheek glowed momentarily, before his vampire ability to heal masked it from sight. Indignation hardened his expression into something cold, something frightening, and behind me a communal gasp swept through the room as every single one of the congregated vampires stared at me in disbelieving horror.
Way to make an impression, Darcy.
What the hell had I just done?
About the Author:
Angela grew up in a small pit village in the county of Northumberland in England. Currently she lives in an entirely different pit village in the same county, along with her husband and their two children. She qualified in Architectural Technology and has worked in construction, as well as running her own wedding stationery and graphic design business. Currently Angela's time is taken up with chasing a three year old, a four year old and a kid in his thirties who really should know better. Between that she works, writes and draws.
She is currently writing the final book in the Vampire Cohort series while editing the first book in the series for publication, as well as trying to store up the hundred other stories which are always racing around in her mind! While a love of writing has always been part of Angela's life, in recent years it has become a daily requirement. The vampires, werewolves, gods and fae just won't leave her alone!
Among Angela's other loves are camping, kayaking, the Lake District and history. She is a bit of a sci-fi geek, a bit of a Joss Whedon fan, and has such an eclectic taste in music it would take pages to write down what she likes.